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Hum Reprod. 2005 May;20(5):1286-91. Epub 2005 Feb 3.

Health-related quality of life and need for IVF in 1000 Italian infertile couples.

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  • 1Infertility Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Milan, Italy.



A specific and still poorly investigated issue in the field of infertility is represented by the impact that the need for IVF techniques may have on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


A total of 1000 consecutive couples (1000 women and 1000 men) were invited to complete the Health Survey Short Form (SF-36) questionnaire separately, prior to initiating their first IVF attempt in our unit. Patients were also invited to report about demographic and clinical characteristics.


A total of 1936 (96.8%) agreed to participate. Male SF-36 scores were higher than those reported by women. Duration of infertility and previous IVF attempts significantly influenced HRQoL (P < 0.01). When scores were plotted in relation to the normative source of the Italian general population stratified by gender, corresponding age and geographical area, the subjective health profile did not significantly differ from the normative sample for both women and men.


The need for IVF did not seem to markedly influence subjective health status. Conversely, duration of infertility and failure to achieve a pregnancy through IVF might have a negative impact.

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